Archives for March 2015

Google Rss Reader is very cool

I have recently switched my RSS aggregator to Google Reader. This app is still officially in the Google Labs environment, so once in a while there will be a slight hiccup. But, overall I have found this to be a great rss reader.

It has full keyboard support!

  • J to move down article list
  • K to move up article list
  • SPACE to page through a long post, then when the end is reached it moves to the next unread item in your list

It also has support for tags or categories, or labels as Google calls them, which comes in handy if you want to categorize your feeds. You can also share your “starred” items, this feature I have not checked out yet, but it seems interesting.

If you go to the familiar Google search box at the top, it allows you to search for new blogs on a topic. For example, go to the search box at the top, enter “Rob Herbst”, then hit the button labeled “Search for new content”. Now click on the subscribe button….only kidding.

Google Reader also supports mobile devices, which is great if you have to catch up on your feeds on the go.

This post on the Google Reader Blog reviews a sample of what the top errors in the xml feeds that the development team sees. Pretty interesting to see the number two is mismatched tags!

Overall, I think this is a great rss reader that is definitely worth checking out.

Update 8/11:

My friends Pete and Nick don’t like Google Reader. I guess it all comes down to your personal workflow. I used to read my blogs in a similar fashion but that just didn’t work for me. I realized that I had subscribed to way too many blogs, and there was no way I was ever going to have time to read them all. I’m glad that method works for Pete & Nick.

Actually, looking at all those unread items in my Newsgator/Outlook newsreader made me feel like I wasn’t able to keep up — very unmotivating for me. So what I did was to radically trim down the number of feeds that I read. It was difficult to do, but I tried to look at each one and really determine if I was really getting any value from it.

I was able to cut my subscribed list down to just a handful, so the approach that Google Reader takes works perfectly fine for me. I only get about 15-20 new posts per day, so cruising through them in the one place is okay with me. I guess, it also resonates with my Getting Things Done experience. With this approach I have an inbox, where I process the items one at a time. I understand that if you have a much larger & varied subscription list this approach doesn’t seem to work well.

As for keeping entries for future reference, you can either “star” them, or inside the view when you are reading the item, you can check the “keep unread” and it will be displayed until you manually clear it.

I do have to say I was on the train today and I was very happy being able to read my blog entries on my smartphone (which is true of any server based aggregator). That was very cool!

Anyway, Pete & Nick, I’m sorry you guys don’t like Google Reader, but like I mentioned at the top I think it all comes down to personal workflow in how you read your feeds. Both of you seem to have a similar approach were a tool like BlogLines or Newsgator is a better fit.